The wide-spread influence of syphilis on human pathology was well appreciated before we had the help of serologic methods of diagnosis; but with the added ability to diagnose masked and latent syphilis conferred by the Wassermann method and its modifications, we find that our views of the importance of syphilis were under the mark more often than over.
A somewhat unusual application of the serum reaction is in the study of the occurrence of syphilis in prostitutes, and the results are of much significance. Of one hundred registered prostitutes in Cologne investigated by Dreyer and Meirowsky1 the presence of syphilis could be established by the history in fifty-six, of whom but one showed manifest lesions at the time of the examination. Among the forty-three remaining who gave neither history nor clinical evidences of syphilis, no less than thirty-two gave a positive serum reaction for syphilis, while forty-five of the
THE WASSERMANN REACTION IN PROSTITUTES. JAMA. 1910;LIV(3):210. doi:10.1001/jama.1910.02550290038004
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